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October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Israeli soldiers’

Lodz Jewish Cemetery

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

        The cemetery in Lodz is said to be one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in Europe, with about 230,000 graves. It was first opened at the end of the 19th century with a large separate building for the preparation of bodies for internment and funerals. Today there is an exhibit of original pre-war items used by the burial society.

 

         By the beginning of World War II, in 1939, the cemetery already contained many of the elaborate tombstones and mausoleums for which it has become famous. The grave markers run the full gamut from that of Israel Poznanski, the largest mausoleum in the cemetery, to those of people who were interred during the Shoah, when tombstones were not allowed. Indeed, one finds parts of bed frames embedded in the ground, often twisted in a particular shape, as a means of identification.

 

 


Mass grave of Bnei Akiva youth group members.

 

 

         There is also the Ghetto Field, a vast, seemingly empty field that is the final resting place of the 45,000 people who died in the Ghetto. During the Shoah, the death rate among Jews living within the ghetto was very high. Dozens of funerals were held each day, with the number going as high as 170 funerals on one terrible day. While these graves remained unmarked, the Jewish community offices kept meticulous records of each grave. Today there is a program through which Israeli soldiers have been coming to Lodz, clearing the field and placing markers denoting dates and the names of the departed.

 

         The job of caring for the cemetery is a tremendous one and never ending. Groups come from Israel on a regular basis to work clearing the wild growth of trees, bushes and high weeds. Schoolchildren from around Poland also come to do their part. Most of the time they are working among graves that are just names, and in many cases the people clearing the area have no concept of who is buried in these hallowed grounds.

 

 



The Ghetto area after being cleared of debris and markers placed by the Israeli soldiers.


 

        

         But every now and then there is a famous name – a Rubinstein, Tuwim and Szyk can be found – but there are many tombs of famous rabbis scattered throughout the cemetery. One interesting feature is that the wives of famous rabbis also have elaborate tombstones. Located separately, these are some of the largest grave markers dedicated to women to be found anywhere. There are also numerous mass graves for multiple victims of German terror. There is the grave of nine Bnei Akiva members who were part of the resistance during the Shoah. Their grave is an often-visited site by scouts and other youth groups (during my recent visit I found a Bnei Akiva pennant and many candle stubs at the site).

 

         During the last days of the Ghetto, when the Russian army was approaching, the Germans sent most of the remaining Jews to Auschwitz, but kept about 800 to clean up the area. As the Russians approached, they were forced to dig pits near the wall of the cemetery, which they suspected would be their own graves. The Russians advanced so quickly that there was no time for the final executions, and the Germans ran away, saving the 800 Jews and leaving the pits empty. These pits have been left open as a reminder of the lives saved and the graves not used.

 

         The cemetery is still in active use today, but it is the history within that draws thousands of visitors every year.

Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

A new Palestinian terror group aligned with the ideology of Al Qaeda has been formed in the Gaza Strip and may plan attacks not only against Israel but also against other “enemies of Islam and their collaborators among Arab regimes,” the group’s leader, Abu Muhammad, told WorldNetDaily.

Abu Muhammad heads the new Army of Islam, which bills itself as the Palestinian organization ideologically closest to Al Qaeda. The Army is one of three terror groups that claimed responsibility for the kidnapping in June of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. It is led by Gaza’s infamous Dugmash clan, a family of strongmen that lead several terror cells in Gaza, including the “Saladin resistance department” of the Popular Resistance Committees.

In his first-ever interview, Abu Muhammad, a senior member of the Dugmash clan, explained why his group is different from other major Palestinian “resistance organizations”:

“We believe that Muslims should participate in the jihad no matter how far the jihad field is from a geographic point of view,” he said. “We are not limiting ourselves to the jihad in Palestine as the other Palestinian groups do, and we see that our duty obliges us to help Muslims and to participate in the jihad everywhere it is needed.

“For the moment, we are restricting ourselves to Palestine not because of ideological or strategic reasons, but just because Palestine is today the most important field of jihad in the world. If the situation changes, we easily see ourselves as soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere,” said Abu Muhammad.

The terror leader warned that attacks against U.S. interests may come soon. “[Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice said that the U.S. wants a new Middle East, and there is no doubt that jihad, the armed jihad, will be the main tool and weapon when the day will come, and we believe that this day is not so far,” Abu Muhammad said.

Golan Targeted

Top members of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s Baath party were advised in a private briefing to purchase real estate in the Golan Heights because, they were told, the strategic territory will “very soon” be returned to Syria, a Baath official told WorldNetDaily.

“This is not a political recommendation. It was made in private to top officials because it is absolutely estimated that Syria will very soon get the Golan Heights back,” the official said. “We’ve been instructed to purchase what will become prime real estate for us.”

Military officials say returning the Golan Heights to Syria would grant Damascus the ability to mount an effective ground invasion of the Jewish state. The Heights looks down on major Israeli and Syrian population centers. It borders Israel, Syria and Lebanon and is claimed by Damascus. Earlier, this column broke the story that Syria is in the process of forming what a Baath party official called the Front for the Liberation of the Golan Heights, a new “resistance” group that models itself after Hizbullah.

One week later, Al-Alam Iranian television featured an interview with a man who identified himself as the leader of the new Front for the Liberation of the Golan Heights. The man, whose fetures were blocked out, said his new group consists of “hundreds” of fighters who are currently training for guerilla-like raids against Israeli positions in and near the Golan. He claimed the Front has opened several training camps inside Syria.

This week, a previously unknown organization calling itself the Men of the National Syrian Resistance faxed statements to news agencies threatening to kidnap Israeli soldiers in the Golan Heights.

Kidnapping on the Agenda

Palestinian terror organizations are currently training in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to carry out operations aimed at kidnapping more Israeli soldiers, said a terrorist leader whose group was one of three organizations that abducted Gilad Shalit.

Abu Abir, a senior leader in Gaza of the Popular Resistance Committees, thanked the international community for what he said was its recognition that kidnappings of Israeli soldiers is not considered terrorism but “military operations that bring very big results.”

He said the “best way” to gain the freedom of thousands of Palestinians being held in Israeli jails, including convicted terrorists, is by kidnapping more Israeli soldiers.

“We are now planning and training for the next kidnappings. Even if [Israel] releases hundreds of prisoners in exchange for Shalit, we still have thousands more to liberate. More Israeli soldiers must be abducted,” Abu Abir said, amid reports this week that Israel is considering releasing hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit. Israel has several times freed large numbers of prisoners, including convicted terrorists, in exchange for peace agreements or for the release of Israeli captives. Some of the freed prisoners have gone on to murder Israelis. Israeli Hagar Ben-Ovadia was killed in Jerusalem by two Fatah men released by Israel in 1985. Israeli Eyal Yeverboim and his seven-month-old son were murdered in 2005 by terrorists released two months earlier to “strengthen” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He can be heard regularly throughout the week on top American radio programs. He served as a co-host of ABC Radio’s nationally syndicated John Batchelor Show, which went on hiatus last week and is scheduled to return in late fall.

The Palestinians’ Gal At The New York Times

Wednesday, October 31st, 2001
Yes, another Monitor on The New York Times – and if you don’t understand why the Times warrants constant scrutiny, you probably shouldn?t be reading this column to begin with.An editorial in last week’s edition of The Jewish Press did a fine job of parsing a recent article by Deborah Sontag, the Times’s Jerusalem bureau chief (and, as regular visitors to this space know, the Monitor’s hands-down choice for worst foreign correspondent on a major American newspaper). This week Sontag’s work is back where it belongs, a rancid specimen of skewed reporting firmly nailed down to the Monitor’s dissecting table.

On February 14, this is how Sontag opened her front-page piece on the Arab bus driver who the day before rammed his vehicle into a bus stop, killing eight Israelis:

“After years of shuttling Gazan laborers into Israel without incident, a Palestinian bus driver who passed a strict Israeli security clearance just two weeks ago veered wildly off course today with deadly consequences.”

Read that sentence again, slowly this time, and make note of how Sontag takes pains to paint the driver in the most benign of lights, almost as if she were an attorney offering a defense brief. Before she even deigns to mention the number of dead and injured, she tells us of her client’s – oops, the driver’s – exemplary past performance and his clean bill of health from Israeli security.

And the manner in which Sontag conveyed the cause of the deadly incident – the driver “veered wildly off course” – makes it appear as if the poor soul might simply have lost control of the steering wheel. Yasir Arafat, whose initial reaction to the incident was to shrug it off as just another “road accident,” couldn’t have put it better.

Now, contrast Sontag’s unprofessional drivel with the lead paragraphs turned in by real reporters. Vivienne Walt of The Boston Globe (a newspaper owned by The New York Times Company) wrote, “A Palestinian driver slammed a bus into a crowd of young Israeli soldiers outside Tel Aviv yesterday, killing eight people. It was the deadliest attack on Israelis since 1997.”

Here was the Washington Post’s Lee Hockstader: “A Palestinian driver steered into a throng of young Israeli soldiers and civilians at a crowded bus stop near Tel Aviv this morning, killing eight of them, injuring nearly 20 and transforming rush hour into a tableau of carnage.”

Tracy Wilkinson of the Los Angeles Times filed this online dispatch the day after the attack: “Authorities tightened Israel’s blockade of Palestinian territories Wednesday and vowed tough punishment after a Palestinian driver mowed through a crowd of Israeli soldiers and commuters at a bus stop, killing eight people and injuring more than 20.”

Phil Reeves, writing in Britain’s Independent, described “a Palestinian bus driver who saw no need for bombs or bullets but used his own vehicle as his weapon, crashing it into a crowd waiting at a bus stop and popular hitchhiking post.”

Even Suzanne Goldenberg, the correspondent for London’s left-wing Guardian, reported the incident for what it was: “Morning rush hour brought raw horror to the heart of Israel yesterday when a Palestinian driver turned his bus into a killing machine, mowing down eight commuters at a crowded stop and injuring 20 others.”

The contrast could not be more telling: Walt, Hockstader, Wilkinson, Goldenberg and Reeves offered their readers reporting that was concise and straight to the point, without any preliminary apologetics on behalf of the Arab driver, while Sontag put her pro-Palestinian spin to work immediately in her opening paragraph.

But then, not much better can be expected from a woman who last month labeled incoming Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon an “unreconstructed Zionist” – a phrase that seems to suggest that unadulterated Zionism is something enlightened individuals are expected to disassociate themselves from, or at the very least grow out of. You know, enlightened individuals like the ones at The New York Times.

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/media-monitor-14/2001/10/31/

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